The teaching of writing and grammar, punctuation and spelling at Greystones Primary School
In addition to reading the information that is detailed below, you may like to follow these links for more details about what is taught and expectations at Greystones (just click on the words):
6. Key Stage 1 SPaG terminology (Year 1 and 2)
7. Lower Key Stage 2 SPaG terminology (Year 3 and 4)
8. Upper Key Stage 2 SPaG terminology (Year 5 and 6)
How we teach writing and grammar punctuation and spelling at Greystones
As a school, we embed the teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) into our daily English lessons and when writing in other curriculum areas - History and Geography - and when planning and writing evaluations in Science and DT. We recognise that writing is integral to all aspects of life and we mindfully endeavour to ensure that children develop a lifelong, healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards writing. Writing skills underpin most elements of the school curriculum and are an essential life-skill. Considering the fundamental importance of writing, we are driven by the need to develop each learner’s writing ability, thus enabling them to play a full part in society. SPaG plays a fundamental role in good spoken and written communication, which is the purpose of literacy. At Greystones, we want the children to learn to communicate, read and write accurately and effectively. Being taught the conventions of spelling, punctuation and grammar and having the skills and confidence to apply these well are an important part of being fully literate.
The process through which we teach SPaG at Greystones is carefully planned so that children build on and consolidate the SPaG that has been taught during the previous lesson, previous week, previous term and in previous year groups. Our SPaG and writing process has five distinct phases; the SPaG is taught explicitly and is then practised and applied through the children’s writing.
Identify it – children are taught to name and classify the various parts of language and punctuation as described in the curriculum. e.g. bus = noun, under =preposition
Read it – children are given ample opportunities to see examples of how word types, punctuation and grammar are used in real writing. e.g. finding fronted adverbials which have been used to add detail to an extract from a text
Practise it – children are taught to apply their new skills and knowledge in lessons which focus explicitly on this aspect of SPaG. e.g. children generate sentences using fronted adverbials
Apply it – through clear writing expectations, children are prompted to use their newly practised skills within their wider writing. e.g. using fronted adverbials in an adventure story
Master it – without being prompted, children demonstrate a secure understanding of an aspect of SPaG within their independent writing in a range of contexts. e.g. children independently use fronted adverbials in their science report
At Greystones, we are following the 2014 National Curriculum for the teaching and learning of writing skills. We are committed to raising the standards of children’s writing to ensure that all children are progressing and achieving at least in line with national expectations. Each member of staff knows the end of year and greater depth expectations in writing for their year group. These are shared with the children throughout the year, who use them to plan and improve their writing.
Children’s writing is monitored by the writing and SPaG Leaders and moderated in and amongst year groups and sometimes, with other schools. Additionally, the wider curriculum is monitored to ensure that it is being used effectively to provide challenge, stimulation and excitement to improve the standards of writing from Foundation Stage to Year 6.
To inspire writing, we use a range of stimuli: role play, drama, debate, poems, songs, videos, pictures, extracts from texts, newspaper articles and real-life events.
At Greystones, the children are taught phonics in Foundation Stage, KS1 and in some cases lower KS2. Children throughout school are also taught spelling patterns that they practise through daily spelling activities and games within class. Children are also given the spelling pattern so that they can find and practise identifying, reading and writing words with each spelling pattern at home. Alongside this, children learn the common exception words and statutory spellings set out in the National Curriculum. The children start to learn the common exception words in Year 1, the statutory spelling words in year 3 and continue to learn, revisit and revise these until they leave primary school at the end of Year 6.
At Greystones, adults ensure that opportunities to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing and through being exposed to technical and more advanced language. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language.
Pupils are taught to use Standard English and the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching. They are taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Teachers will take every opportunity to highlight the spelling, grammar or punctuation focus, whether that be during a book study session or even a different curriculum subject, throughout the week.
We aim for all children to be included within the writing process; work is differentiated and, where necessary, support and scaffolding are provided. We aim to provide a range of resources that reflect the diversity of culture within our school community and wider community. When it is felt necessary, a pupil may be given the opportunity of additional support and experiences.